It’s been a year of highs and lows at The Gateway.
That inevitably comes with the territory of this kind of job, though. I mean, first of all, we have a dozen individuals in their 20s working together in an office without heating/air conditioning and computers that frequently crash, so it’s bound to get loopy at times. But then we also had the sobering reality check that was print media, well, what was left of print media, collapsing from the inside.
As students, we can all relate to the feeling of having a seemingly insurmountable mountain to climb, especially when facing a less-than-ideal job climate. That’s how our office felt the day Postmedia cut 90 jobs across Canada. The goal of working in media that once seemed nearly impossible somehow became even less possible with a swift set of cuts that left us pondering our career choices.
That was a huge low.
And that’s just on the personal end of things. To give full disclosure, it’s been tremendously difficult to navigate through the death of print media as a student publication. People already don’t want to buy ads in print because they can get more exposure and primary data when advertising online. But even if somebody did want to buy a newspaper ad, they wouldn’t be targeting students, because none of us have any money.
We’re adapting to this by scrapping the weekly newspaper, printing a magazine once a month, and doing everything else online. This was the thing people half-joked about four years ago when I first showed up at SUB 3-04. It’s an intimidating choice, but it’s the right one. Printing a newspaper every week isn’t responsible financially, and if we’re going to keep accepting money from every student on campus, we had better not be throwing it into the recycle bins behind each building.
One of the biggest highs for all of us, though, was finding out that 61 per cent of students voted “Yes” on our referendum last week. 61 per cent may not seem like much, but 3,721 students went out of their way to say “yeah, The Gateway is good.”
To those who voted “Yes” for us, thank you. A big part of what makes this job worthwhile is the self-fulfillment you get from working hard on something and producing a finished product you can be proud of, but there’s another part of it that comes from being validated by your audience. Sure, we’re here to improve our skills and help forward our careers, considering we’re the Unofficial School of Journalism at the University of Alberta and all that, but at heart, we also want people to enjoy the stuff we produce.
When people go out of their way to support us like that, it means a lot. So again, thank you.